|Oops: the cause of our hold-up|
But that's what happened today. After a morning of blustery winds and showers we reached the top of the Wolverhampton 21 flight just in time to meet the lock-keeper stapling a 'flight closed until further notice' notice on the top gate. Seemingly a beam on lock ten had broken and would need replacement. It might take four days – if they had a suitable one available.
|Wall to wall graffiti and burnt out building at Horseley junction|
|Relic of the industrial past, the mouldering gantry crane|
Walking back to photograph it, we met a local who recalled playing around on it as a young lad thirty years a go. He painted a depressing picture of modern day Wolverhampton - no jobs unless you're prepared to work for the minimum wage or less, fewer and fewer places for youngsters like his with parks and youth clubs closing, mess and litter all around ('if the place looks like a dump, people will treat it like a dump') and a council intent on building a new shopping centre when the present one is full of shut shops.
|One day this will be a new 'canalside quarter' we are told|
Latest news is that they've found a replacement beam and repairs start tomorrow so we won't be held up too long. We are yearning for the countryside of the Staffs & Worcs.
...and finally. Among the graffiti sprayers was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist whose messages were all along the canal: